London commuter belt

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The London Commuter Belt, or London Metropolitan Area, is the name given to the built-up area surrounding and running into Greater London but not administered as part of it.


[edit] Scale

The boundaries are not fixed and as travel speeds have increased, it has become feasible to commute from a wider area. The commuter belt currently covers much of the South East England region and part of the East of England region. It includes the Home Counties of Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. As of the 2001 census, the London Metropolitan Area had a population of 13,945,000 (in 2001) [1], the largest in Europe alongside Moscow. An affluent part of the region is also known as the "stockbroker belt".

[edit] Environs of Greater London

London borders the East and South East regions. There are seventeen local government districts that have a border with Greater London and in some cases form part of the urban sprawl. These are:

These districts in many cases have sections within the M25 and, in the case of Epping Forest and Three Rivers, are served by the London Underground. Some of these districts formed part of the Metropolitan Police District until its borders were altered to coincide with Greater London in 2000. They are typically within 15-20 miles (24-32 km) of Charing Cross.

[edit] ONS Greater London Urban Area

Main article: Greater London Urban Area

The Office for National Statistics includes the following urban sub-units from adjacent regions in their "Greater London Urban Area" :

South East Region

East Region

Essex County Council defines the London Commuter belt in Essex to be the districts of Brentwood, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford.

[edit] Further out

Beyond these districts are dormitory towns and ribbon developments which have occurred around major roads and railway lines whose economy relies entirely on the capital. Even further still are other towns with an economy outwith that of London but which nevertheless serve as commuter bases. The vast majority lie within the East and South-East of England, however some commuters travel from towns and cities in the East and West Midlands.

[edit] Towns

Indicative and by no means exhaustive list of towns in the area:

[edit] Green Belt

Much of the undeveloped part of this area lies within a designated Metropolitan Green Belt so further significant urban development is generally resisted by District Councils backed by the Planning Inspectorate. It was expected that had this policy not been adopted during the 1940s and 1950s the area now perceived as the commuter belt would have been fully urbanized by about 1980, and the administrative boundaries of Greater London might well have been more extensive.

The Green Belt currently covers nearly all of Surrey, eastern Berkshire, southern Buckinghamshire, southern and mid Hertfordshire, southern Bedfordshire, south-west Essex, and western Kent.

[edit] Future

The approval, in principle, of a second runway at Stansted Airport and the introduction of domestic train services along the Channel Tunnel Rail Link being built between St Pancras railway station, Stratford International station in East London and stations at Ebbsfleet and Ashford in Kent are expected to pull the area's limits outwards in north easterly and south easterly directions respectively bringing greater symmetry to the commuter belt as seen from space.

[edit] See also

London commuter belt

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